27 May 2014

Jewels of Opar is Limon talinum

Jewels of Opar have been a favorite in our garden for many years. Recently I read a gardening blog on Facebook where the contributors were complaining about its invasiveness. It does re-seed but never too much for us so either we love it that much or it doesn't spread as much in our crowded, wild space as it does in more fertile gardens.
Jewels of Opar

Either way, it is welcome here wherever it pops up. Those lime-green leaves topped with threadlike flower stems (panicles) with flowers the size of the head of a straight pin, followed by red seed capsules.

I took the photo from above, trying to capture how it looks in person but it's impossible. You just have to see it for yourself.

Mississippi State says that botanically it is Talinum paniculatum, native to the West Indies and Central America, hardy in zones 8 to 11. Here in zone 7 it returns from seed left on the ground the previous fall.. Its other common name is Fameflower, though I have not seen it in garden centers around here for many years.

They suggest that growers cut the flower stems and use them like baby's breath.

Ours thrive in a fairly dry bed with half-sun.

On the Internet, there are several seed providers. Here are links to a few.
Harris Seed - 100 seeds $16
Summerhill Seed - 10 seeds $3.25
Onalee Seeds - 24 seeds $3.50

This is a lovely plant to my eye. Maybe you'll see it in a nursery and get your first one or find some seeds to start.


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